Zainab Salbi was only 23 when she decided to forgo her honeymoon and use the money to support women survivors of the war in Croatia.

‘We hear much discussion about the front lines of war,’ she says. ‘We need to focus more attention on the back-line delivery of peace. It is women who keep daily life going during conflicts and who must rebuild communities when the fighting is over,’ Salbi says. ‘Yet women are not included at the negotiating table and very little money is allocated to help them recover.’  

Frustrated by the slow international response to the women trapped in Croatia’s military rape camps, Salbi started her own group, Women for Women International. By connecting local women in networks which are linked to others around the world, the organization gives women a voice as well as offering direct aid. The group now supports women in Afghanistan, Congo, Sudan and Iraq.

Brought up in Iraq under Saddam Hussein and enduring an abusive arranged marriage before finding the courage to leave, Zainab Salbi describes herself as someone who knows of war but strives for peace.

‘People have helped me because I am passionate. Yes, I am only one person, but I am proof that one person does count,’ she says.
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